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Sarasota News Leader September 28, 2012 at the 60% design stage, he said — with those items included — the cost had gone up to the level Eastwood had mentioned during the budget workshop. Staff and representatives of the consulting firm Kimley-Horn and Associates, Smith add- ed, were working to pare the project back down to the $16.7 million level that the Coun- ty Commission had approved. During the commissioners' discussions this week, Barbetta said of the plan, "I'd like to see it back [before the commission] as soon as possible." If the commissioners did want to pursue bond revenue as a funding source for the project, he said, they needed to stop wasting time. "If we wait much longer, construction costs are go- ing to start to rise, [along with interest rates]." Reid responded that he had discussed the plan with staff last week, including the projected cost and the potential use of bond revenue. Page 32 "Speaking for myself," Chairwoman Chris- tine Robinson said, "I'm going to have to be sold on the bonding issue … I have a concern about … what's been happening with the bond ratings" and what the county might be facing in extra expenses as a result of action in 2013 by the Florida Legislature. "I'm just being very cautious," she added. "I am open to discussion." "If I had to guess," Barbetta said, "when this thing finally comes to bid, it's going to be $13 million to $14 million, not the $20 million that's been thrown out there." "I'd like to stick with the original design," Bar- betta said, "then use alternates in the bidding process, instead of staff making arbitrary deci- sions" about what to exclude from the project. Commissioner Nora Patterson said she had been requesting a cost analysis and details about what had been added to the plan at the 60% design stage. Sarasota County Commissioners Joe Barbetta and Jon Thaxton review staff material during the Sept. 26 regular meeting. Photo by Rachel Hackney

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